Why You Won't Want to Miss Disney's New 'Frozen' Dinner

July 4, 2022, 5:17 PM · Imagine spending an evening in an immersive space, in which beloved characters entertain you with a show that complements a meal themed to their production. The entire experience makes you feel like a welcomed character in their imaginary world, rather than some anonymous, passive observer of a show on a screen or a stage.

That's Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, one of three rotational dining experiences on the Disney Cruise Line's new Disney Wish.

The evening starts with a walk through the corridors of Arendelle Castle, created in a Deck 5 hallway on the Wish by Disney's Imagineers. This is where that Art History class in college pays off, as you can get references such as Disney's knock-off of Fragonard's "The Swing."

The Arendelle Swing

We are here to celebrate the engagement of Queen Anna and Kristoff with a multi-course meal accompanied by live performances from several beloved "Frozen" characters, including Elsa, Olaf, Oaken, and the aforementioned Anna and Kristoff. Two original characters complete the cast to provide additional musical interludes as we order and eat.

The celebration takes place on a large, low stage in the middle of the 694-seat dining room that is decorated to feel like a grand hall in Arendelle Castle, complete with a view of the sea. Oaken has expanded his Trading Post and Sauna business and is now running Oaken's Hearty Party Planning Services, which is putting on tonight's show.

Expect plenty of music, including the hits you would expect from a "Frozen"-themed production. But Oaken throws a few curves, too, including a delightful "bachelor party" moment when he and Kristoff - not Elsa - have a go at "Let It Go."

The show also includes the best live version of Olaf I have seen from Disney - a stunning, well-articulated, true-to-scale animatronic that rides on a cart around the stage, and later, around the room to greet guests at their tables.

Disney entertainment leaders confirmed that the show will include additional special effects that are missing starting at the 10:30 mark in the video above, so the show should be even better when Disney Wish begins its public sailings later this month.

So what about the dinner in this dinner show? Our table ordered two appetizers, four entrees, and four desserts, and the unanimous verdict was that the appetizers stole the show here.

For those appetizers, we chose Anna's Koldtboard - a selection of chilled seafood, and Elsa's Royal Baked Scallops - two scallops in a tarragon bisque, served under a pastry dome that reminded me of the Soupe aux truffes V.G.E. at the still-closed Monsieur Paul in Epcot's France pavilion.

Anna's Koldtboard

Anna's Koldtboard and Elsa's Royal Baked Scallops

I love fresh dill and I love tarragon, so with those as the most two prominent herbs flavoring these selections, the appetizers set a high standard for what would be our first dinner on the Disney Wish.

For our entrees, the table selected Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass,

Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass

Arendelle Kjottkake,

Swedish meatballs

Juniper Spice Roasted Chicken Breast,

Chicken Breast

and Garlic & Thyme Roasted Beef Rib-Eye.

Prime Rib

If you are saying to yourself, "that looks more like a prime rib than a ribeye steak," congratulations - you think like a member of the Niles family, 'cause we all said the same thing. But it was a nice beef dinner.

Our table's favorite was the Sea Bass, however. The accompanying mustard sauce enhanced the inherently mild flavor of the fish, which was nicely cooked and not overdone, as happens too often in restaurants doing this level of volume. The adorning scallop added another nice bite, though as we mentioned with 1923 yesterday, the listed vegetables here also came in bite-size portions. If you want more greens with your meal, add a salad. Disney's rotational dinners are included with the fare, so there's no charge to order more.

The chicken tasted fine. Pretty standard, with a mushroom ragout that didn't bring out anything in the chicken. The accompanying "Duck Confit Double-fried Potatoes" lacked the rich flavor we had hoped for and really needed some salt to boost their taste.

Swedish meatballs are one of our long-time family favorites, so I ordered the Arendelle Kjottkake with great anticipation, hoping that Disney's chefs would put my humble home efforts to shame. Unfortunately - or fortunately, depending upon your point of view - it turns out that I make better Swedish meatballs than this.

These were too dense to cut with a fork, unlike the tender meatballs whose recipe I took from a Cooks Illustrated article many years back. The dill we loved on the seafood gave these meatballs an oddly sweet note that might have worked well with the dish, had we been able to taste anything else. No one wanted more than one bite.

Other entree options (that we did not order) included King Agnarr's Dry-rubbed Roasted Pork Tenderloin,

Pork Tenderloin

and Queen Iduna's Potate Lefse, from the menu's vegetarian options.

Potato Lefse

And how about this sparkly drink?

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Throughout our meal, our eyes caught several towering mint-chip sundaes being delivered to squealing kids across the room. So when it was time for dessert, we had to ask for It's Elsa's Coronation Sundae!

Ice cream sundae

The "Signature Dessert" here is Troll Family's Rock Chocolate Bar.

Chocolate dessert

And we had to order a Kvaefjordkake, if for no other reason than the name. (It's a Butter Cake with Baked Almond Meringue, Vanilla Cream, and Berry Compote.)


Our final dessert select was the Norwegian Pancake Roulade.

Norwegian Pancake Roulade

The chocolate bar was our winner, though it could have used some additional flavor to balance it, as we could not pick up the promised Hibiscus in the meringue. We thought the Kvaefjordkake was a bit dry, and while we all loved the mint-chip ice cream in the sundae, the marshmallows in the chocolate at its bottom had become too cold and hard by the time we got down there, foreshadowing the problem we would have with the brownie bites in our sundae at 1923 the next night. Sprinkle the dry ingredients atop sundaes - don't bury them under the ice cream and sauces.

I don't know what we were expecting from the Norwegian Pancake Roulade, with its description of "Pancake, Lingonberry Jam, Gjovik White Chocolate Cheesecake," but the dollop in the center was best and hilariously described by one Niles family member as "Babybel cheese dusted in sugar."

Perhaps we should have just ordered another round of the Koldtboard, instead.

After the show ended and we were eating our desserts, we watched the stage next to our table quickly fill with dancing children from around the room, who were trying their best to keep Oaken's party going as their parents struggled to leave. Send my congratulations to Oaken on a job well done. You know it's been a great party when no one wants to leave the dance floor.

In retrospect, Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure was my favorite experience aboard the Disney Wish. A great space, a great show, wonderful service and some outstanding food - what's not to like? (Okay, other than the meatballs.) For someone who thought they had had their fill of everything "Frozen," I gladly would walk down that hallway again for another evening with Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure.

For more of our coverage from the ship: All Aboard the Disney Cruise Line's New Disney Wish

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Replies (7)

July 4, 2022 at 6:30 PM

I've been pleasantly surprised with the quality and presentation of the food so far, the prime rib-eye not withstanding.

July 4, 2022 at 9:58 PM

I hope this restaurant will come to HKDL's World of Frozen. The entire Hong Kong Disney resort, has not really got a fine dining restaurant.

July 4, 2022 at 9:59 PM

Fun Facts: Prime rib and ribeye steak are the same cut of beef. The difference is in the preparation. The meat for prime rib is oven-roasted as one big slab of beef. The individual prime rib servings are then sliced from the roasted beef slab. Ribeye steaks are the same beef but they're sliced before cooking, then grilled as individual steaks. (That certainly looks like a slice of prime rib in the photo.)

July 6, 2022 at 2:59 AM

I understand that most of this ship's itineraries will be limited to 3 night sailings so the rotational dining works well in that context with one night in each. What happens if the itinerary is 4 nights or longer? Whilst once through the show might be fun I'm not sure I'd want to have a second meal in the dining room with the same presentation.

July 6, 2022 at 8:32 AM

I'm with David here. My understanding is that the Wish will start with 3-day Caribbean itineraries out of Port Canaveral, but will eventually be repositioned to serve other ports and longer cruises. The idea of dinner shows on board is fun, but modern cruising is all about giving passengers options. I'm sure there are cruisers out there that would want to have a dinner show every single night, especially if it's included in the fare, but there are also passengers that would quickly grow tired of dinner shows to the point where the second or 3rd night of singing and dancing around the table interrupting a nice meal would get annoying.

I really liked what WDI did aboard the Galactic Starcruiser with formal show-based entertainment on night 1 of the adventure, and a second dinner where the food was the show with more dramatic presentation of dishes throughout the meal (though there were still show elements going on given the interactive nature of the experience).

For me, I would probably prefer to have a standard dinner provided every night of a cruise with the option to substitute one dinner show on a 3-5 day cruise and 2 shows on a 6/7 night cruise with those upgrades included in the cruise fare. So many ships now are building "exclusive" restaurants that companies are using to enhance revenue (I'm sure Wish probably has this too) by charging guests extra to either make a reservation in these limited-capacity dining rooms or simply charging a la carte for meals in these restaurants like they do for franchise locations on board (i.e. Starbucks).

I do wonder though if Wish has a standard dining room for guests who just aren't interested in one of the rotational dinner shows so guests can still have a nice meal without having to resort to paying out of pocket for dinner on board.

July 6, 2022 at 10:09 AM

I will be writing about Marceline Market and the other dining options on the ship later this week.

July 6, 2022 at 2:57 PM

When I cruise I don’t want a buffet option for dinner. Lunch is fine but I’m paying premium pounds/dollars I want ‘proper’ dinner, and I don’t want to be forced to pay premium rates to eat in somewhere that isn’t assaulting me with a song and dance show. Eating Dinner is very different from a Dinner Show. When we went to Disney World we never ate at a dinner show/review as we just wanted to enjoy our own company and fabulous food. There are lots of great restaurants across the World so it’s easy to tick that box. If Disney are going to force me to eat with a show or pay a (significant) premium to eat a grown-up meal then I’m probably less inclined to book a cruise with them given that there is a LOT of competition offering a rather more ‘restrained’ choice of grown-up dining options….

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